Seasonal Flavors: Maria’s Shrimp Tart

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Maria’s Shrimp Tart. Photo: Denise Zito.

Like most of you, we didn’t do much socializing during the pandemic, but after a year had gone by and we got our first vaccines, we started to venture out, and one of those ventures led us to Richmond. Our long-time friend Maria lives in the Fan District in a lovely vintage row house. Parking is difficult, but she lives walking distance from the Museum of Fine Arts, parks, tiny cafes, bakeries, and restaurants. Maria’s home and neighborhood are my fantasy of what city living should be.

Maria is an excellent cook and treated us to a delightful and inventive lunch on her front porch. As Joni Mitchell sang “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Not being able to see, and hug, and kiss, and enjoy a glass of wine with our dear friends was a trial. Now, we’ll never take these beautiful moments for granted again.

The astute reader will notice that I published a somewhat similar tart recipe nearly four years ago. This one is a bit different, but we can’t have too many tart recipes, I say! 

Try this shrimp/leek tart and sit on a porch with friends.

Maria’s Shrimp Tart

  • One sheet of frozen 
  • puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, cleaned, halved, then thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ lb grated Gruyere cheese
  • ¼ pound cooked shrimp, shelled but with tails left on

Preheat oven to 475°F. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to a square, about 12 X 12 inches. Fold the edges inward and then roll into a circle. Transfer the pastry to a sheet pan.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet, add the leeks and thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the leeks soften, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle half the cheese over the pastry, leaving a one-inch border. Spread the leeks over the cheese, then arrange the shrimp on top of the leeks. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the shrimp.

Fold the tart edge to form a rim. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly. 

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